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Copyright, 1879, 
By S. W. TILTON & CO. 

Wright & Potter Printing Company, 18 Post Office Square, Boston. 




The book has received the approval of Miss Cumming, one of 
the most valued teachers in the Boston schools, as she has for 
many years taught sewing in the Winthrop Grammar-School, where 
the instruction of sewing was first introduced in Boston, and where 
it has been most thoroughly carried on. 

"I have read carefully your little book on 'Plain Needlework,' and think it 

practical. I have long felt the need of such a work, and think it will be a great 

help to all instructors of sewing, and to mothers who teach their children at 


"Very truly yours, 



THIS manual is compiled chiefly from two publications pre- 
pared for the use of teachers in the public elementary schools 
in England. 

We quote its opening sentence with hearty approbation : " The 
great object of all instruction is to strengthen the mind, and form 
the character." 

Needlework has fallen somewhat into neglect since the introduc- 
tion of sewing-machines ; but we are glad to notice that a re-action 
has set in, and that it is taking once more its proper place. 

Skill in the use of the needle is important, even essential, to 
every girl, every woman, whatever her position in society. But 
to those in the humbler walks of life it is doubly valuable, both as 
an aid to domestic neatness and economy, and as a means of 
profitable occupation. 

If a girl is skilled in plain needlework, the whole routine of which 
under proper care and teaching, is extremely simple, fancy work of 
all descriptions may be learned with great facility. 

For those who really like needlework, few things are more condu- 
cive to quiet thought and reflection than a long seam to be sewed 
with good cotton and a good needle. And not a few women of 
studious tastes have found the enforced use of their needle no 
obstacle to the pursuit of solid and valuable studies, and to the 
cultivation of high literary tastes. 

Conversation, too, is easier when needles are the order of the day. 
For, notwithstanding the many advantages of the sewing-machine, 



its noise and motion are alike unfavorable to quiet talk and con- 
centration of thought. 

For these and other reasons we are glad to see needlework 
resuming its proper place, and becoming a branch of instruction 
in our schools. 

Sewing has been taught in the public schools in Boston for 
many years, and it is now established there as one of the essential 
branches of instruction in the three lower classes of the grammar 
schools for girls ; and the advantages of the instruction are each 
year more widely acknowledged as the methods are more systema- 
tized, and the results are more fully known. 

The suggestions in the little book to which this is a preface will 
be found of value to all the sewing-teachers already employed in 
public schools, as well as to those teaching in mission schools, or 
in home nurseries. They show, too, that in England, a methodical 
and careful instruction has been found advisable in the common 
schools, and should be recommended here in all public schools 
where it is not established. 

We add to the manual a copy of the rules and regulations that 
have been found of service in the Boston public schools. Many 
of the suggestions are similar to those recommended in the English 
book, showing that the necessities and the means for meeting them 
are the same in both countries. 




Materials u 

Classification n 

Primary Schools . . , u 

Grammar Schools . . . . 12 

Seaming 13 

Puckering 14 

Stitching 15 

Marking 16 

Gathering 16 

Stroking 17 

Setting in Gathers 17 

Button-Holes . . 17 

Darning 18 

Cutting out 19 

Herring-Boning 19 

Running 19 

Position Lessons 20 

Object Lessons 20 

Drawing 20 

Spelling 2r 

Dictation 21 

Essay 21 

Carefulness 21 

Value of Knitting 22 

Home Work 22 

Test Questions in Needlework 23 

Sewing Drill 27 

Threading Needles 27 




Making a Stitch .28 

Position Drill . . .28 

Fitting a Hem 29 

Counter-Hemming 30 


The Stitch 34 

Purling 35 

Narrowing ' 37 

Articles for Practice 37 

Blackboard-Rubbers. — Dish-Cloths. — Floor - Rubbers. — Tow- 
els. — Washing-Gloves. — Squares of Cotton . . . -38 

Gaiters. — Full-Sized Socks 39 


Darning Stockings 41 

Hole [First Diagram) . .40 

Hole [Second Diagram) ....._ 41 

Hole ( Third Diagram) 42 

Twill Darning 43 

Wave Darning 44 

Bird's-Eye Darning 45 

Swiss Darning, Right Side {First Diagram) ..... 46 
Swiss Darning, Wrong Side {Second Diagram) . . . .47 

Grafting {First Diagram) 48 

Grafting {Second Diagram) 49 

Patch prepared 49 

Patch completed 50 

Stocking-web Stitch 50 

Stocking-web Hole prepared 51 

Stocking-web Hole partly done 51 

Ladder, broken 52 

Ladder, mended . 53 

Mending Sheets (First Diagram) 54 

Mending Sheets (Second Diagram) 55 

Mending Sheets (Third Diagram) 55 

Mending Sheets (Fourth Diagram) 56 

Regulations for the Departments of Sewing in the Public 

Schools of Boston .......... 57 


" 'TT^HE great object of all instruction is to strengthen 
J- the mind, and form the character. Even needle- 
work, humble as the employment may appear, may be 
made conducive to this end. When it is intelligently 
taught, the mind is employed as well as the fingers ; 
powers of calculation are drawn out, habits of neatness 
acquired, and the taste and judgment cultivated." We 
quote from a book that has been a help to many. We be- 
lieve that the following practical hints and suggestions 
will be useful to all who agree with this sentiment. 


The best materials for school-work are cotton (bleached 
and unbleached), print, and flannel : we might add, for the 
advanced classes, linen for the bosoms and wristbands of 


The classes in these schools should be taught threading 
needles and hemming. 

In a large class it would be a stimulus to the children, 


if it were subdivided into three divisions, or sections, 
beginning with black thread, rising to red, and going on 
further to blue. Besides stimulating the children, this 
plan would assist examiners, who would at once see by 
the color of the sewing-cotton the state of proficiency 
of the class. 


Here, in the lower classes, may be taught hemming, 
seaming, 1 overcasting, and stitching. These stitches com- 
bined make an apron, or child's first shirt, or chemise. 
The more difficult stitches, and darning, patching, &c, 
should be reserved for the more advanced classes. The 
girls should be taught thoroughly to fit all their work, 
the great end and aim being to produce, not so much 
"beautiful seamstresses," as "intelligent needle-women." 
At no time in the history of our country have the people 
been taxed so highly for education as now ; and it there- 
fore behooves educators more than ever to let parents see 
as much as they can the result of what they are teaching. 
This is far more thoroughly done by enabling a child 
to turn down, begin, and finish off, a hem at home for her 
parent, than if the teacher has always done the fitting for 
her. One thing is much to be avoided, the too common 
and unwise practice of teaching children a new stitch on 
too fine material. When a child is first taught to read, 
large letters and large print are used, not " diamond " 
type ; and, in learning writing, " large-hand " copies come 
before " running hand : " so it should be in needlework. 
Coarse unbleached cotton, in which the threads can be 

1 The English word " seaming " will be used in this work in place of the some- 
what awkward terms "top-sewing" or "sewing over and over," commonly used 


easily seen, will teach a child far sooner in the end than 
fine. For instance, she can be taught to turn down to a 
thread ; not that it is necessary always to work by thread, 
but, as in the case of lines in the copy-book, it simply 
helps train the eye to accuracy. Children's eyes should 
be trained, not strained, in needlework. 

To avoid wasting material, as soon as a child has learned 
to thread the needle, to hold the work over the left-hand 
finger, to keep the right position of the left thumb and 
right hand, and to know what effect hemming has on a 
piece of cotton (all of which should be taught in the 
primary classes), she should begin to make a bag, or, 
better still, a work-apron. This, when finished, she could 
put on during the sewing-lesson, and in it at its close she 
should neatly fold her work and sewing-materials ready 
for the basket ; for no child should be allowed to carry her 
work home until completed. 


Children should not learn to seam on selvages, as they 
are seldom even ; and the children get a habit of taking 
their stitches too deep, and so making a coarse, thick ridge. 
They should also be trained to consider that seaming is 
not finished until it be laid open and flattened down. To 
those who fear that the children would soil their work by 
using their nails or the top of the thimble for this process, 
the use of an old tooth-brush handle is suggested, which, 
to give it greater honor, might be called " the flattener." 
This has the merit of cheapness, besides being hard, 
clean, smooth, and round-edged, thus less likely to cut 
the thread than the scissor-edge, so often used for this 



Puckering in seaming is caused by the children holding 
the right elbow close to the right side. This causes the 
needle to go in slanting, thus making one half of the . 
stitch wider than the other half. If this be done, even by- 
one thread per stitch, a pucker must necessarily ensue. 
But if, when seaming be first given to a child, she be 
taught to place herself properly, holding the elbow off 
from the side, bringing the fore-arm in a horizontal posi- 
tion, so that the palm of the hand faces the chest of the 
worker, the needle will then point straight to the chest- 
bone, and the stitch will be of the same size both at back 
and in front. In this way the habit of neat seaming is 
acquired from the first, and the time which, later on, 
should be devoted to mastering another step, is not 
wasted in learning to undo a bad habit. 

The practice of giving coarse needles and thread to 
children at first leads to coarse and untidy-looking work. 
" Children break their needles so!" is often urged as a 
reason for this ; the fact being quite overlooked, that chil- 
dren must be taught not to break their needles. Broken 
needles are generally the result, either of imperfect teach- 
ing, or carelessness on the part of the pupil. If a child 
be allowed to force the needle through the cotton entirely 
by means of the thimble-finger, so surely will she become 
a needle breaker ; but if she be trained to work the needle 
through by the assistance of the thumb, as well as the 
thimble-finger, broken needles will be of rare occurrence. 
It surely cannot be more difficult to train a child under 
seven to handle the needle with care than it is to teach it 
to use a knife without danger, and to sharpen the points 
of sticks till they can pierce soaked peas, with which to 
make mathematical forms, as in the Kindergarten system. 



No. 8 needles are, as a rule, quite coarse enough tor the 
material generally given, and No. 50 cotton (Clarke's). 
The use of too large a needle necessarily forces the child 
to make large stitches. Short needlefuls, about half a 
yard, or the width of the school-desk, should be used at 
first ; and children should be taught to work up the cotton 
to within three lengths of the needle. It is attention to 
minutiae in the beginning that lays the foundation for 
speedy improvement in the higher classes. 


Less need be said about this stitch than many, as it is 
almost the only one that has survived being taught in the 
glorious hap-hazard manner which has assailed others. 
Moreover, it is the stitch par excellence in which the sew- 
ing-machine most materially assists, and therefore it is not 
now necessary to devote so much time and eyesight to it 
as of yore. Sewing-machines are doubtless an assistance 
to rapidity of execution of needlework ; but they will not 
do away with the necessity of teaching needlework. In 
fact, no one can use a machine to any real advantage 
(except in large warehouses, where one portion or descrip- 
tion is given to each individual), without a good knowl- 
edge of cutting out and fitting; and the machine is not 
yet invented which can patch. 1 In finishing a needleful 
in stitching, the needle should be taken through -on the 
wrong side, and darned in and out of the stitches for a 
quarter of an inch, and the fresh needleful should be 
treated in the same way. No knots should be allowed. 

1 Some of the American sewing-machines can both patch and dam neatly thin, 
worn linens and cottons, and stockings also. But, as these machines cannot be found 
in every home, it is important for every girl to know how to darn. — Am. Ed. 



This stitch is a great pleasure to children in genera^ 
and the knowledge of it is often a great help. Few poor 
persons would afford twenty-five cents to buy a bottle of 
marking-ink, which is sure to dry up and become useless 
long before they have used it all (if even they are able to 
write well enough to mark on linen or cotton) ; but a 
needleful of marking-cotton is readily obtained, and serves 
to render their clothes easily to be identified. Children 
should not be kept at work on canvas longer than they 
have learned the stitch, and can accurately copy a letter. 
As soon as they can accomplish that, they should, with- 
out delay, be set to mark holland or coarse cotton. 


Gathering should be taught by thread on coarse mate- 
rial, not left till it be required to complete a fine cotton 
or linen shirt ; and there should be twice as much left 
between each stitch as is taken up on the needle. Two 
threads up, and four between, is a common rule. To avoid 
waste of cotton, measure the space into which the gathers 
are to be sewed with the cotton (which should be fine), 
double it, and allow a finger-length over. It is better to 
gather with fine cotton doubled, rather than coarse cot- 
ton single, as, in the event of the cotton breaking with 
careless drawing up, the child can probably sew the 
gathers in while they hold together with the remaining 
thread, instead of having to re-gather the whole. It is 
wiser, if the space into which the gathers are set be 
more than three inches, to gather only half or quarter 
with one needleful, taking a fresh needleful for the other 



Stroking, too often, in the hands of beginners, takes the 
form of "striking," and frequently results in long strips 
of holes, or ragged shirt-sleeves, after a few weeks' wash- 
ing and wear. This is caused by using too short a needle 
or pin, and holding it too perpendicularly. 

The thread should be carefully and by degrees worked 
up, by gradually pushing the gathers up, beginning from 
the first-done portion, and the thread wound round a fine 
pin set in just enough to keep it from getting loose, and no 
more. Then a long darning or milliner's needle, or a long 
steel pin, should be used, the thumb of the left hand kept 
quite below the gathering-thread ; and each gather should 
be picked out with the needle-point, and gently pushed 
under the left thumb. This done, the thread will require 
tightening up, and the gathers should again be stroked ; 
and, as a final finish, the top of the gathers above the 
thread should be stroked, to give them an even appear- 
ance. If the gathers are carefully worked up, however, by 
the thumb and finger, stroking in most things is unneces- 
sary, and often injurious, and is better dispensed with. 


The position of the needle in setting-in gathers should 
be perpendicular, not slanting, as in hemming, and each 
gather should be taken up and fastened separately. These 
three last-mentioned stitches depend on each other. If 
gathering is done badly, good stroking will be impossible, 
and setting-in a difficulty. 


In making a button-hole, cut the slit even to a thread, 
then take a needle and cotton, and run it once round, about 


midway between the edge of the slit and what will eventu- 
ally be the bottom of the stitches. Draw it slightly tight. 
Or, better, overcast the edges slightly ; but, if the material 
inclines to ravel, the overcasting should be closer and 
firmer. Bar the slit once or twice all round. Begin at 
the left-hand corner. Insert the needle, and, before pull- 
ing it through, bring the cotton from the eye of the nee- 
dle over the needle as it sticks in th~ stitch, round from 
left to right under the point of the needle. Draw the 
needle out over the edge, and straight from the person 
working, the left thumb pressing the slit close against the 
first finger. In proportion to the thickness of the cotton, 
the stitches should be close, to allow room for the twist at 
the top of the edge : otherwise, requiring more room at 
top than at bottom, they will acquire a slanting appear- 
ance. Each stitch should be exactly the same depth. 
All this can be understood with ease, if the material be 
coarse enough to enable the child to see the threads 
without trouble. It shows more skill, if one corner of 
the button-hole be worked round, and the other braced 
properly, not finished with a mere loop across the end. 


Plain darning should be taught as soon as the child is 
ready for it; i.e., darning of all kinds, — stockings, coarse 
worsted and cotton, calico or linen, also patching. This 
can be practised on an old coarse sheet or towel, or a pair 
of coarse, unbleached cotton stockings. Darning in its 
original signification (according to Webster), signifies re- 
placing the material by working in exactly similar pattern. 
This is taught in the schools in Holland, but cannot with 
propriety be used to describe the coarse cobble of lattice- 
work too often seen on a stocking. When parents see the 



result of teaching mending, they will not be backward to 
avail themselves of it by sending a constant supply for 
the children to do at school. Mending ought to be taught 
before cutting out. The poorer the parents, the less need 
they have of cutting out. Moreover, in towns they can 
often buy ready-made clothes cheaper than the material to 
make them with ; but, the poorer they are, the more need 
there is of economy, and nothing tends to that so much as 
the practical knowledge and ability to execute a darn, or 
set in a patch ; and who shall say that this will not add 
very greatly to the comfort of a poor man's home ? 


This should by all means be taught after a girl has 
learned thoroughly, not only how to fit and make, but also 
to " darn," every article required for underclothing. 


Herring-boning, called also " cat's-tooth," may well be 
taught. The raw edge of the flannel (coarse for begin- 
ners) should be cut even to a thread, and turned down six 
or eight threads. Two threads should be taken up on the 
needle, along between the fourth and fifth thread from the 
edge ; so that there should be four threads between the top 
row of stitches and the bottom row, which should be just 
below the edge of the flannel turned down. The needle 
should go in parallel between the same two threads, and a.% 
the fourth thread from where it went in last time. 


In addition to all that is taught previously, should be 
practised whipping, sewing on frills, and running tucks ; 
and these, added to what are required in a plain shirt, 


form the stitches necessary in any thing as complicated as 
a lady's night-dress. 


Much instruction in needlework may be given without 
needle or work, e.g., position drill. We see infants taught 
to act the various things they describe as they sing ; and 
there is no adequate reason against a similar method being 
adopted in the needlework classes at times, — on dull, 
dark days, or in hot weather, when the hands are moist 
and make the work dirty. The position required in hem- 
ming may be shown (the rule in forming a stitch should 
be to make the needle come out at the middle of the edge 
of the left thumb-nail, the needle pointing to the left 
shoulder), also the positions in seaming, — the bringing 
forward the right elbow, and keeping the fore-arm in a 
straight position, so that the palm of the hand faces the 
worker: this will prevent taking the stitch round the tip 
of the left forefinger, and also will avoid puckering, as 
each half of the stitch will then be exactly the same size, 
which it cannot be when the right elbow is held close to 
the side, and the needle put in slanting. 


Object lessons may be of great assistance in needle- 
work. Materials may be classed into four kinds, — wool, 
silk, linen, and cotton, — subdivided into two parts, the 
outside of the animal or plant, and the inside of the ani- 
mal or plant, &c. 


Drawing, too, will help needlework very much, by 
teaching the drawing, by scale or otherwise, of patterns of 
all sorts of garments, both for upper and under wear. 



Another plan of assistance is by spelling. Such words 
as "stitching," "herring-boning," are quite as hard to 
spell as "abominable;" and through them can be con- 
veyed many a useful hint for needlework, thus helping to 
fix the word in the child's mind. 


A rule in needlework dictated would serve as well for 
practice in dictation as much that is used at present for 
that purpose. 


Few who have not tried can imagine how testing both 
to powers of concentration of thought, expression, and 
terseness of language, it is, to write out entirely from 
memory the full description of any stitch in needlework. 
All these are methods of legitimately assisting the needle- 
work lesson by means of the others. 

Every stitch in needlework has its rule ; and the chil- 
dren cannot be too early taught them, and exercised in the 
various names of the different parts of a garment (and 
here spelling would be very useful). We do not wait to 
teach geography till the child has travelled round the 
world ; neither is it needful to defer teaching this branch 
of needlework till the child has worn out more garments 
than she has made. 


Too much can hardly be said or done to inculcate hab- 
its of care and economy, and to show to the children that 
their teachers practise the care and thrift that is urged on 
their parents. All scraps, when done with for needle- 


work, all ends, threads, ravellings, &c., should be collected 
and put into a rag-bag. This should be intrusted, when 
full, to a good child to sell ; and the proceeds may purchase 
some pins to fit with, or go towards a little reward for 
deserving scholars. The value of these rags may be all 
but nil ; but the moral lesson taught, who can gauge ? 



Knitting stockings may be, as some aver, costly and 
tedious ; but, when it employs odd minutes which would 
otherwise be wasted, its chief value shows itself. A 
woman who has been at the washtub or at housework all 
day cannot easily sit down to plain needlework ; her 
hands are " out of tune ; " she cannot, perhaps, even feel 
the needle, it is too small : but let her be able to knit readi- 
ly (having been taught at school), and she will add many 
an inch, at spare moments, to her husband's or children's 
stocking, which lies ready to be taken up at any time. 
Moreover, when old age produces dimness of sight, how 
many weary hours can be enlivened, if knitting has been 
acquired when young ! and how it may help to ease the 
feeling of "being a burden," if the old woman of the fami- 
ly can keep the children's feet well clothed in strong, 
warm stockings. 


There is an idea prevalent among some, that it is quite 
right to allow children to bring what work they like to 
school. By what process of reasoning a license is allowed 
in one Jesson which would not be suffered for a moment 
in any other is difficult to discover. Moreover, when par- 
ents can afford to allow their daughters to grow up to ten 
or twelve years of age without ever having held a needle, 



or set a stitch, they must have become so habituated to 
doing without their assistance in needlework as not to 
miss it. The only method by which it can be allowed, 
without causing injustice to the teacher, and positive hin- 
derance to the child, is by the parent sending a garment 
cut out to be made, or an article to be patched or darned, 
and by leaving it in the school until it is completed to the 
satisfaction of the teacher. Fathers do not expect their 
sons to write up their business letters, or keep their ac- 
counts, at school, though they do expect them to learn the 
method by which it can be done in after-life, or out of 
school. Let us, for a moment, contemplate the effect of 
a reading-class, where each child considered itself entitled 
by right to bring what book, or periodical, or newspaper, 
its parent preferred, and ask what would be the result 
And, if a parent may not dictate about one lesson, why 
should she be allowed to do so in another ? The children 
do not attend school for their parents' convenience, but 
for their own benefit; and justice to the teacher ought 
also to be considered. 


This manual can only serve to give suggestions to the 
teacher, or skeleton ideas, rather than a full treatise on 
the subject. We add a few questions that have been 
selected, to assist teachers in giving oral lessons, or to 
form the text for an essay on a particular stitch. 


Question. — What is a fair rule for width for turning down a 
hem? Answer. — Turn the raw edge down once four threads, and 
then turn it down again the same width as at first. 

Ques. — How do you begin a fresh needleful in hemming ? Ans. 
— By pointing the needle from me, turning in the end of the thread 
under the hem, and drawing it out till near the end of the thread ; 
then the end must be neatly turned in under the hem with the point 
of the needle. 

Ques. — How should the needle point in hemming ? Ans. — 
Towards the chest, not towards the left shoulder. 

Ques. — How deep should the needle go in seaming? Ans. — 
Take up one thread. 

Ques. — What causes puckering in a seam ? Ans. — Putting the 
needle in slanting ; thus more cloth is taken up on one side than on 
the other. 

Ques. — Describe how you begin a fresh needleful in seaming. 
Ans. — Leave an end of thread that has been used, and the same 
length of the new one, and sew them both over neatly and carefully. 

Ques. — Where should the needle point in seaming? Ans. — 
Towards the chest ; and the stitches must be straight across the seam. 

Ques. — What rule have you for stitching? Ans. — Bring the 
needle out two threads, then put it back two threads : by taking two 
threads only, the stitches are always proportioned to the quality of 
the material. 

Ques. — Describe the rule for gathering. Ans. — First halve and 
quarter the garment ; make a mark with a piece of thread at each 
quarter, and about fourteen threads from the raw edge. Gather on 
the right side, taking up two threads, and missing four. 

Ques. — Describe the position of the left hand in stroking gathers. 
Ans. — The thumb of the left hand should be kept quite below the 



Ques. — Explain the position of the needle in setting in gathers. 
Ans. — A long darning-needle or long steel pin should be used, and 
each gather picked up with the needle-point, and gently pushed under 
the left thumb. 

Ques. — How do you make a button-hole ? Ans. — Cut the slit 
even to a thread. If the material ravels, overcast lightly. If the cloth 
is fine, bar once ; if coarse, twice ; draw it slightly tight. Begin at the 
left-hand corner. Insert the needle, and, before pulling it through, 
bring the thread from the eye, round from left to right, under the point 
of the needle : in drawing the needle out, see that what is called the 
pearl of the button-hole is kept on the upper edge. There should be 
one thread between each stitch and the next, and these stitches should 
be of exactly the same depth. The upper corners of the button-holes 
should be worked round, and the lower barred, except when they are cut 
as in the bosom of a shirt : then they should be barred on each end. 

Ques. — Describe the twist given to the cotton in " tailor's fashion " 
of button-holing. 

Ques. — How do you sew on a button ? Ans. — First take two 
stitches firmly on the right side, then sew the button through four 
times without spreading the stitches on the wrong ; wind round twice, 
drawing the thread slightly tight, and fasten neatly. 

Ques. — State the rule for cat's-tooth stitch, and for what it is used. 
Ans. — It is used on flannel. It should be five threads from the 
edge : two threads should be taken up, and two down. 

Ques. — How many parts are there in a plain shirt? Ans. — Count- 
ing gussets, nine parts. 

Ques. — Give the names of the different stitches used in a shirt. 
Ans. — Hemming, top-sewing (or seaming), running, felling, back- 
stitching, gathering, stroking gathers, button-holes, and sewing on 

Ques. — What is the first thing to be done in darning a hole in a 
stocking? Ans. — Draw out the rough, jagged ends, so as, in some 
degree, to contract the size of the hole, and bring the loops or threads 
as nearly as possible to their original position. 

Ques. — What next ? Ans. — Then, if the hole be a large one, place 
under it a card, and run beyond the hole as far as the stocking is thin, 
leaving a loop of the thread at the end of each turn. In crossing the 
first course of threads, take up and leave down a thread alternately. 
The shape in large darns is best and most easily preserved by begin- 
ning the crossing at the middle. 


Ques. — Why should loops be left in darning ? and what should 
be done to them when the darn is finished ? Ans. — So that the hole 
may not be contracted. They may be cut off when the darn is fin- 

Ques. — Describe the way a patch should be set in. Ans. — Cut 
the piece you intend to repair with exactly to a thread, and place it 
on the worn part to a thread, also, on the right side, taking care, should 
the article have any pattern, to place the patch so the pattern would 
correspond. Baste and hem on neatly ; then carefully cut out the old 
piece on the wrong side, leaving sufficient to form a hem. 

Ques. — Should a darn be even, or irregular, in shape, and why? 
Ans. — It should be irregular : an even darn does not wear well. 


"/'"~*UT your coat according to your cloth" is an old 
V_^ and true proverb, and one which has a larger 
meaning than is often supposed. It has been brought 
forcibly to my mind by the difficulty experienced in 
dealing with large schools, where sixty totally ignorant 
children are placed under one unaided teacher. I have 
therefore suggested, that, to meet such cases, a new 
method should be adopted, viz., that of simultaneous 
teaching in needlework. 

The following directions may help those who have felt 
the difficulties above mentioned : — 


Let the children stand out of the desks in a square 
class. Give a No. 7 needle to each, to be held in the mid- 
dle with the left-hand finger and thumb. Give each child 
one quarter-yard of fine thread. When this is done, 
"Attention" should be called. Let the teacher, being 
similarly provided; raise her left hand to the level of her 
mouth, or eyes, as she finds most suitable, requiring the 
class to do the same, and say, " One." Raise the right 
hand, holding the thread protruding half an inch from the 
finger and thumb, and point it close to the eye of the 
needle, and say, "Two." Let the children try to thread 
the needle while she counts slowly twenty, decreasing by 



five as the children become proficient. When all have 
threaded, say, "Three," and all hold the left hand up high, 
to show the fact accomplished, and cry, " Four," all to- 
gether. The needle should then be unthreaded by the 
right hand. This should be repeated until the whole class 
can do it with quickness and precision. Then a three- 
minute glass (commonly called an egg-boiler) should be 
used, and the children encouraged to try who can thread 
the needle oftenest while the sand is running ; the child 
who has done it most often to take the head place in 
the class, and keep it until another can outdo her. 

By this plan needles are not so easily lost ; and, the eye 
of the teacher being always on the class, the children can- 
not amuse themselves by spearing the desks, or trying the 
effect of the point of the needle on their neighbors' arms. 


In this case the children may, if preferred, sit in the 
desks. The teacher should make all the class sit straight. 
Hold the left-hand fore-finger doubled at the second joint, 
and pointing to the chest. Lay the cushion-top of the left 
thumb on the left finger, between the first joint and the 
tip. Join the tips of the right thumb and fore-finger to- 
gether, and let them touch the left fore-finger. This being 
done by all in the class, and all being ready, the teacher 
— facing the children, and acting throughout step by step 
--should make them move the right-hand finger and 
thumb to touch the front edge of the left thumb, and say, 
"One." Raise both hands in the same position, so that, 
when the needle is used, it shall be seen by the teacher 
whether each child points its needle exactly along the 
middle of the left thumb-nail, and say, "Two." Still 
keeping the hands in the same position, turn them over 


till the knuckles face the chest (this is to see that the 
needle shines through, which proves the stitch is taken 
through), and say, "Three." Turn back the hands into 
the "two" position, and say, "Four." Let the thimble- 
finger fall back about two inches, and draw it sharply up 
to the right thumb, imitating the working through the 
needle in making a stitch, and say, "Five." Make the 
arc of a circle in the air with the right hand, as if drawing 
out the needle, and say " Six." 

Let this be done patiently, regularly, and simultaneously, 
until all can do it as the teacher counts. Then give the 
children the cotton, placing it over the left fore-finger, and 
let them act it again until they thoroughly know each 
movement, and can tell them consecutively to teacher. 
This plan will do away with the necessity of so much 
"waste," so inseparable in the minds of some teachers 
with elementary teaching of needlework, and with the 
amount of dirty "bits" too often seen in schools. 


Here, too, simultaneous teaching and work may be of 
use. Let each child have half a width of coarse, un- 
bleached " ordinary " cotton, half a yard long, snipped 
selvage-way into six pieces ; the teacher being also simi- 
larly provided. Let her tell the children to show that they 
know their right from their left hand, also teach them the 
difference between "holding" and "pulling;" the one 
being an active, the other a passive operation. This might 
be further exemplified by holding a child by the arm, thus 
preventing it from moving, and pulling a child towards 
her. Then let the teacher, making each child act with 
her, "hold" the cotton in the right hand, and with the left 
"pull," or " scratch down " as a little child once said, the 


cotton off the thread, little by little, creeping up to the 
top, and then beginning at the bottom again ; and so on, 
over and over again, until the thread comes out. This in 
itself teaches care and patience, and is called the first step. 
When done, the children should be questioned, What has 
been the effect of drawing the thread? Many answer, 
"To make a line," or "a mark." What for? To cut 
straight by, just as, in the copy-book or slate, lines are 
drawn to write straight by. Then the child should hold 
the cotton, and watch the teacher, to see that she cuts by 
the thread-line which the child has made : this forms the 
second operation. The third consists in letting the child 
turn down the edge of the cotton six threads deep. The 
fourth is showing up to the teacher, who, if it be turned 
down true to a thread, lets the child pinch it down to keep 
it folded. The fifth step is like the third ; and the sixth 
like the fourth. Basting the hem makes the seventh ; and 
hemming is the eighth. These should all be gone over 
until thoroughly learned by the children, who, if they have 
gone through the two former lessons, will probably be well 
able to go on with plain hemming. 


This is a well-known plan of fastening two pieces of 
material together before the child has learned the art of 
seaming or running. Turn down the raw edge or selvage 
once towards you. Then lay the edge farthest from you 
on the nearest, so as to cover the raw edge. There is now 
a union of the two sides of the garment. Baste down the 
fold, and hem on both right side and wrong side. 

The advantage is, that a child in the very lowest class 
can make a simple garment as soon as she has learned to 
hem fairly well. At present much time is spent by a 



child in learning hemming ; and, when that is learned, she 
has to learn another stitch before she can produce the 
tangible result of a completed garment, and this is obviated 
by teaching counter-hemming. 

Plaiting is advocated, because good plaiting is better 
than bad gathering, and because it opens the door to a 
variety of garments being practicable ; and children who 
are trained in the Kindergarten system are considered by 
competent teachers to be capable of doing it. Aprons 
with full skirt can be plaited instead of gathered into the 
band ; and the fulness round the neck of a chemise can 
also be treated in the same manner. The fact that gar- 
ments are so made by the parents will prove that this plan 
is not unpopular. 


The remarks on knitting are simply to aid those who find knit- 
ting a difficulty in school. There are so many books of receipts 
for knitting garments, that it is needless to add to the number in 
such a manual as this. Any one who can knit a stocking with 
intelligence and ease can, if necessary, soon pick up any particu- 
lar pattern that takes # the fancy. 

3 2 


THE first step will probably be the teaching of the right 
position of hands and fingers. Here simultaneous 
drill, or class-teaching, when practicable, will prove to be 
economy of time and labor. Each child being duly pro- 
vided with two needles, they should be taught to place 
one in the palm of each hand. 

In the left hand, the needle should rest on the third fin- 
ger, midway between the first and second joint, and com- 
ing out against the edge of the palm, half-way between 
the last joint of the little finger and the bone of the wrist; 
and this and the third finger should be bent, so as to touch 
the inside of the palm, and thus keep the needle steady. 
The left thumb should cover the first stitch but one on the 
left-hand needle, and also rest on the inside of the first 
joint of the forefinger. 

The right-hand needle should rest along the first joint 
of the second finger, which should be so bent that the tip 
of that finger holds the needle against the " ball " of the 
right thumb. The forefinger should cover the stitches up 
to the last knitted on the needle. The cotton or wool 
should go over the forefinger, across the nail, and be held 
down by the third finger ; and this and the fourth finger 
should be bent so as to touch the inside of the palm of 
the hand. The right thumb should be about three-quarters 
of an inch below the last knitted stitch. Both thumbs 




should be perfectly stationary during the whole time of 
knitting all the stitches on the needle. There are other 
ways of holding the knitting-needle ; viz., holding the right 
needle so that it may rest on the point of the " Y " formed 
by the joining of the forefinger and the thumb, which by 
some is called the English method ; and the German plan, 
where the thumbs almost touch each other, and the wool is 
worked across the first joint of the left forefinger. Proba- 
bly each one is right ; but the custom of letting the right- 
hand needle stick in the stitch, and throwing the right 
hand up and over the needle to make the stitch, is not 
sanctioned by any rules in knitting. Teachers too often 
appear to treat this matter with indifference ; deeming it 
immaterial how the children hold their knitting, so long as 
they get the stitch done. Would they think of letting their 
pupils hold their pens " anyhow " when teaching them to 
write ? 


All these positions being properly and thoroughly 
taught, the next step is to teach the stitch. As little chil- 
dren learn what is new to them more readily if it come 
to their ears with some sort of rhythmical movement or 
" refrain," it has been found of use to divide the movements 
necessary to complete a stitch in knitting into four parts. 

Put the right needle into the first stitch on the left-hand 
needle, and say, "In." Put the cotton round the right 
needle as it sticks in the stitch, and say, "Round." 
Tighten the cotton, and catch it in and on the right-hand 
needle, and say, "Catch." Take this newly-made stitch 
off the left needle, and on to the right, and say, " Off." 
These four words — "in, round, catch, off" — are quickly 
caught up by children ; and they should be carefully cate- 
chised as to their rotation, action, and use.. 



When a child has fairly learned plain knitting by the 
above methods, it should be further taught to "set on." 
The old-fashioned plan of twisting the cotton round the 
left thumb, &c, made, as it was intended to do, a very 
strong foundation ; but, unless the stitch was made very 
loose, it was too inelastic, and was generally unable to yield 
to the stretching the stocking usually received in putting 
on or off, and the broken edge caused thereby must 
be familiar to all home knitters. Knitting can hardly be 
"set on" too loosely, and therefore the French or foreign 
method is preferable. 

Make a " slip-loop," and put it on the left-hand needle, 
then go through the first three motions of the stitch as 
before described, but, instead of taking the stitch "off," 
catch the point of the left-hand needle into the stitch on the 
right-hand needle, and keep it thus as a fresh stitch on 
the left-hand needle. Continue knitting on fresh stitches 
in this manner. After " setting " or " casting " on becomes 
easy to a child, she should be next taught to "cast or bind 
off," which is done by knitting two stitches, and pulling 
the first-made stitch over the last, so that the loop of this 
one remains on the needle, rising through the loop of the 
first. Continue knitting one stitch at a time, never hav- 
ing more than two stitches on the' right-hand needle, and 
pull the first over the last, as above described. At the 
end, pull the cotton through the last stitch, draw it tight, 
and darn the end in and out among the narrowings, of the 
toe if for a stocking, for an inch and a half, to keep it 


Purling, or knitting backwards, sometimes called " seam- 
ing," should be the next step ; as this is necessary to the 


completion of stocking-heels, even if the top be not ribbed. 
Here, after knitting plain, bring the cotton forward in 
front of the right-hand needle, which should take up the 
stitch on the left-hand needle, entering at the right side 
of the thread ; throw the thread round at the back of the 
needle as it sticks in the stitch, catch it in, and take it off. 
In leaving off knitting, always knit to the middle of a 
needle. If one is longer than another, as in the instep, 
choose that one, and wind the cotton round the needles 
at the end of the knitting to keep all safe. 

Persons of all ages knit so differently, — some tightly, 
and others loosely, — that much disappointment is often 
caused in following out plans and descriptions as usually 
written. It is therefore better to describe the various meas- 
urements by inches rather than by rows, as being less 
likely to vary with different knitters. As a rule, children 
knit tightly, and therefore a larger sized needle is desira- 
ble for them. 

In long ribbed stockings for boys, where the trouser or 
knickerbocker covers the knees, it is not necessary to rib 
that part of the stocking which goes over the knee ; and it 
is quicker to knit, and easier to darn (especially in the 
" Swiss " method), if knitted plain. So, also, over the instep, 
and across the heel : these can be knitted plain by degrees, 
a little more in each succeeding row, keeping the ankles 
ribbed; which gives the appearance of a "clock," and 
tightens the stockings where it is advisable, giving ease 
where ease is wanted, viz., over the instep, and across the 
heel. In narrowing, it is necessary to consider whether 
the knitter requires the decrease to lie from left to right, 
or from right to left, to decide whether it should be done 
by knitting two stitches together, or by slipping a stitch 
(i.e., taking it off without knitting), knitting the next, and 
pulling the slipped stitch over. 



For instance, in the case of the narrowing necessary to 
form the instep, the narrowing at the end of the right-hand 
foot-needle should be done by knitting two stitches to- 
gether, because it looks better, if it fall to correspond with 
the slope of the foot ; whereas, for the same reason, the nar- 
rowing at the beginning of the left-hand foot-needle should 
be done by the " slip and pull over " process. On the other 
hand, in forming the toe, the narrowings at the beginning 
of the needles should be by "knitting two together," and, 
at the end of the needles, by " slip and pull over ; " and this 
is also the case in the narrowings in the heel. 

There are so many ably-written manuals on knitting, 
and so many descriptions constantly appearing in most of 
the periodicals, that it will not be necessary to enlarge 
here on various patterns. Knitting, like every thing else, 
requires practice to secure proficiency ; and no amount of 
directions will save the necessity of patience and persever- 
ance. The choice of material, too, is a matter of experi- 
ence. Much of the wool sold for knitting is little better 
in its degree than the "shoddy" which is converted into 
so-called "superfine broadcloth." It has no length of 
staple, and consequently cannot bear the strain caused by 
wear; and this is one great reason why persons are so 
often disappointed in the wear of their stockings after they 
have spent time and trouble in knitting them. Unbleached 
cotton becomes whiter by washing, and is far warmer, than 
much so-called "Angola. 


It is evident, that, if these things are taught in schools, 
an additional power is added to children's education, pro- 
vision is made for the employment of odd minutes and for 


a pastime in old age. Knitting is rarely learned by the 
aged, therefore it becomes almost necessary to teach it in 
youth. But knitting should be a lesson, not the lesson, 
of the " needlework hour." When children have once 
learned to knit, however, it is well to have knitting-work 
at hand, as it is often useful to take up occasionally, if 
there be an accidental stop in other work, or the teacher is 
engaged with another child. 

Blackboard-Rubbers, also Dish-Cloths, and Floor-Rubbers. 
— Cast on thirty stitches ; knit the strip eighteen inches 
long ; sew three together. The veriest " waste " of begin- 
ners can be utilized, if too badly knitted to be used as 
above, by rolling it up tightly like a roll of cloth, fastening 
it securely, and using it as a slate-rubber. 

Towels. — When a child can knit correctly and regu- 
larly, make the 'strips one yard and a half long, and sew 
seven of them together. Make a handsome fringe at each 
end by cutting the cotton into six-inch lengths, and knot- 
ting in six threads into every tenth stitch. These make 
excellent bath-towels, and can be sold for the weight of 
cotton they contain. 

Washing-Gloves. — Cast on forty stitches ; knit plain for 
sixteen inches ; cast off. Double this in the middle ; sew 
up the sides, and round the corners, so that, when turned 
inside out, it should fit the fingers of the hand like an 
infant's glove. These answer well to use for personal 
washing, instead of flannel or sponge. 

Squares of Cotton. — These are useful to teach darning ; 
beginning with colored cotton until it can be done cor- 
rectly, passing on to white cotton. The squares can pro- 
vide further practice by " grafting " them together, and 
they will then be of still further use as blackboard-rubbers. 

Gaiters, i.e., legs of stockings without feet, form a use- 



ful grade before teaching the complete stockings. These 
are very useful to those who are obliged to walk out in all 
weathers, as they protect the leg from the wet edge of the 
petticoat, and are easily pulled off when in school or at 

Full-sized Socks. — The following have been found prac- 
tical directions. Cast on seventy-six stitches ; if stout leg, 
eighty-four. Knit two and purl two for three inches. 
Knit plain for two inches and a half. Narrow five times, 
with five rows between. Knit plain three inches. Divide 
for heel. Knit heel three inches, slipping the first stitch 
in every row. Turn it (Dutch shape) i.e., leave four 
stitches on each side the seam stitch, and take in one of 
the side stitches at each plain row ; knitting the first two 
together on the right side, and slipping the last and knit- 
ting one of the other needle, and pulling over on the left. 
Take up the stitches for instep, and narrow one stitch 
every other row on the end of the right foot-needle, and 
one stitch at the beginning of every left foot-needle every 
other row, until there are as many stitches on all the four 
needles as when the sock was divided for the heel. Knit 
foot seven inches, measuring from where the instep 
stitches were picked up. Narrow every other row for toe, 
at the end and the beginning of the instep or long needle, 
and at the beginning of the left, and at the end of the 
right, foot-needle. Continue thus until there are twelve, 
six, and six stitches (twenty-four stitches in all), and cast 


THE first great principle of darning should be, 
"Never to darn a hole." On the same principle, an 
old lady once told a young man of her acquaintance, who 
apologized for something he thought he had done wrong, 

bi^U^R5$H^ IS "NfJiJ 



\\% ^SwUWrMm 

fflft®i > 'tt4] 


Nj *T 4\t 



y XiTK ' 



No. i. Hole in the Natural State. 

"Never make an apology," by which she meant, "Never 
do any thing which requires an apology afterwards." So 
it should be understood that we mean, " Never leave an 
article so long unexamined as to find it worn into a hole." 




There are many ways of doing this : 1. The "common 
cobble;" 2. "Plain darning;" 3. Twill darning ; 4. Ger- 
man or Swiss darning ; 5. Grafting, or bringing two pieces 
together ; 6. Patching ; 7. Stocking-web darning. The 
first of these is too common to require any description. 
The second would look neater, if, instead of being treated 

No. 2. Hole Drawn up ready for Darning on Wrong Side. 

as if there were a hole, the threads were carefully exam- 
ined on the right side, and gathered up as far as pos- 
sible into the original loops (ladder-fashion), and drawn 
together gently with fine sewing-cotton. It is very rare 
that there is really an absence of material in a hole, any 
more than, when a ring of children in the game of "cat- 
and-mouse " breaks loose, we should say there are no chil- 
dren. The children are all there, but, from want of adhe- 
sion or connection, are scattered about : so, with a " hole." 



Nine times out of ten all the stitches are there, but have 
lost their connecting thread, and fall apart on all sides. 
The plan is to take a needle, and carefully search out the 
stitches, gradually drawing them together, and then, with 
a fine sewing-cotton, fasten them together with care, so as 
not to cause a puckered appearance. This must be done 

No. 3. Plain Darning. 

on the right of the stocking, as engraved, because the loops 
of the stitches in ravelling fall out on that side. Then 
turn the stocking inside out, and darn over the place, and 
at least half an inch beyond on all sides. 1 

A darn should never be in shape either a square or a 
parallelogram, because the strain of the thickened part 

1 In the above diagram (No. 3) the darn is not crossed, which it must be before it 
can be considered as finished ; but, if it had been done so, the course of the broken 
stitches gathered up would not have been seen. 



would be even, and too great for the texture, and it would 
speedily tear away again. A diamond is a good shape. 

In thickening a thin place, it looks prettier to do it in a 
twill pattern, taking up every other stitch and every row, 
picking up in each succeeding row the stitch next below 
(or above) that used in the preceding row. By this method 

the same stitch, or loop, gets picked up every fourth row r 
and must therefore be stronger than where it comes up 
every other row. To make the " wave dam," proceed as 
before for five rows, then, for five more rows, take the 
loop, or stitch, below the last in each succeeding row : this 
will produce vandyked edges, which are preferable to 
straight, for the reasons stated above. 



Bird's-eye darn (see Diagram No. 6) is also another 

In strengthening heels, if a Dutch heel, darn it straight 
down on each side the seam-stitch, beginning one and a 
half or two inches higher than the point where the instep 
springs, and continue straight round the heel along the 
sole for at least two inches ; decrease every row on left 

No. 5. Wave Darning. 

and right one loop, both at the beginning and end of each 
line, until the straight rows are all thickened ; continue 
the short rows on each side of the heel, and turn back 
where the heel is turned. Always leave loops at the end 
of each row, to allow of the cotton shrinking in washing, 
but cut them open, and trim them even, so that, when 
shrunk, they disappear partially into the stitches, and do 
not make hard lumps, as they do if the loops of darning- 
cotton are not cut open. The Dutch heel is decidedly the 



best for darning, and the strongest, and keeps its shape 
better than the gusset heel. 

In thickening the toe, begin where the narrowing of the 
toe commences on the right side, and increase one stitch 
each row until you reach the middle of the foot, either 
upper or under side ; then decrease one stitch each row, 

No. 6 Bird's-Eye Darning. 

until you reach the narrowing of the toe on the left side. 
In thus strengthening stockings, work on the wrong side 
of the stocking. It is considerably easier to do if the 
needle picks up the stitch in which the loop goes from the 
worker upwards ; and, on returning downwards, the loops 
will also point from the needle, and be easier to pick up. 

4 6 



Swiss darning is thickening a thin place by covering the 
stitches identically as they are knitted or woven, and is 
worked on the right side. Take up two threads, work- 
ing from right to left, going in where the woven stitch 
goes in, and coming out where the next stitch comes out ; 


y.^^ » W^W ^^ 

then enter the needle one bar below, and one bar to the 
right, and take up two bars or stitches ; next enter one 
bar above, and to the right, and take two bars, and go on 
until the row is as long as required. To turn and come 
back, take one bar perpendicularly downwards, turn the 
stocking round, and continue as before. In every stitch 
made, the wool or cotton must ex-actly cover the corre- 
sponding stitch which it is desired to cover, and so double 



or strengthen it. If this be done with material matching 
exactly in color, shade, and texture, it will be seen with 
difficulty, and is specially useful for boys' knees, or above 
a lady's boot-tops, where " darns " are unsightly. This 
stitch must be learned before grafting, which then be- 
comes easy. 






No. 8. Swiss Darring. Wrong Side. 


Grafting is joining two pieces together, and is useful in 
joining a new foot to an old leg, or a fresh sleeve on a 
Jersey. Ravel both edges until the thread runs even, just 
as in ravelling a stocking ; let all the loops appear clear 
and distinct, as if the stitches were going to be picked up 
with a knitting-needle for knitting. Hold both pieces 
together in the ordinary position for " hemming," letting 
the loops be exactly opposite to each other, and take up 

4 8 


two loops ; that is, enter the needle into an upper loop, 
and bring it out in the next loop, draw out the thread ; 
then enter the under loop opposite the last upper loop, 
and come out in the next loop, and draw out the thread ;, 
continue thus, two loops at top and two at bottom, using 
one fresh loop each time, and the two pieces will be effec- 
tually joined together with an almost invisible seam. 


No. 9. Grafting in Process of Working. 


Patching is done by cutting the hole even, and ravelling 
the top and bottom, so as to clear the loops as described for 
grafting, and picking out carefully the half-stitches left by 
cutting the sides even by one thread. Prepare the piece 
to be put in in exactly the same manner, and then graft in 
the top and bottom, and Swiss darn the sides together for 
some five or six stitches on each side the place where 
the patch touches each side. This requires great care and 



No. 10. Grafting. 

No. ii. Patch prepared. 



neatness, and the whole piece had better be sewed on to a 
card. There is another plan, used in the upper-grade 
schools in France ; viz., when both hole and patch are pre- 
pared as stated above, button-hole the edges of both very 
finely and closely, and then, after grafting in at the top, 
sew the top button-holed edge of both patch and hole very 
neatly together on the wrong side, and then graft in the 
bottom. The patch should always be a little longer than 

No. 12. Patch completed. 

the hole, so as to allow of any drawing up in working, and 
should be ravelled to fit at the last. 


Stocking-web stitch is shown by two diagrams. The 
first shows the hole prepared by cutting the sides even, 
and ravelling out the loops top and bottom the second 
ought to show the hole strengthened at the top with 





No. 13. Hole prepared for Stocking-Web filling in. 


No. 14. Hole strengthened and partly filled in, Stocking-Web Stitch. 1 

1 The diagram is here slightly faulty, 
upper part as far as the needle appears. 

The shading should only have covered the 



Swiss darning, the hole itself having been partly filled 
up with a foundation of strands formed by taking alter- 
nately two loops at the top, and two loops at the bottom. 
This foundation must be crossed and filled up by working 

No. 15. Broken Ladder. 

backwards and forwards, as in Swiss darning, until the 
hole is perfectly hidden and filled up. This diagram will 
be of use in learning the Swiss darn, as the needle de- 
scribes the stitch very accurately. 

The next two diagrams are intended to show the broken 



stitch, or ladder, as it often appears on the return of the 
stocking from the laundry, and its improved appearance 
after it has been in the hands of " an expert." 

No. 16. Ladder properly taken up and fastened. 

The German and French plan of putting a wooden ball 
inside the stocking, and darning on it, prevents the skin 
of the fingers being pricked up by the needle, but is apt 
to stretch the stocking, and make the darn too full. 




These four diagrams represent the German method, as 
taught in ladies' schools, of mending linen. If the hole is 
very jagged, it is wiser to cut the piece clear by thread to 
a square, and darn it, as shown in No. 1 7, with linen thread. 

No. 17. House-Linen Darning. Hole entirely cut out square and filled up. 

No. 18 represents a darn of the common break or slit, so 
often found when sheets are "beginning to go." No. 19 is 
a diagonal slit, which, perhaps, is more often seen on the 
breakfast-table than on the sheet ; and No. 20 is a specimen 
of darning what is called a three-cornered or " hedge tear," 
or what is more emphatically called "a regular barn-door." 


No. 18. House-Linen Darning. Straight Darn, on First Sign of Wear in Linen. 

No. 19. House-Linen Darning Diagonal or " Breakfast-Table Cut." 



No. 20. House-Linen Darning. " Three-Cornered, or Hedge Tear.' 





i. Two hours a week shall be given to each scholar of the fourth, 
fifth, and sixth classes of the grammar schools, one hour at a time, 
for instruction in sewing. This time shall not be shortened for 
other studies, or examinations, or any other purposes, without the 
consent of the Committee on Sewing, especially obtained. 

2. Each scholar shall bring work from home prepared, as far as 
possible. But, in any case where it is not so provided, the sewing- 
teacher shall have work on hand, that there may be no excuse for 
an unoccupied hour, and that time may not be wasted. 

3. A sufficient supply of needles, thread, and thimbles, shall be 
kept on hand by the sewing-teacher, to furnish to any child who is 
without them, from carelessness, or inability to supply them, or 
who has not the proper needle or thread for her work. 

4. The sewing-teacher shall make all preparation and fitting of 
work out of school, that she may give the whole of the hour to the 
oversight of the work. Any fitting that requires time should be 
laid aside, to be attended to out of the hour, and other work sup- 
plied in its place. 

5. Every effort shall be made to vary the instruction, that every 
girl may learn thoroughly the varieties of work. If she has learned 
one kind of work, the sewing-teacher shall furnish her with some 



other variety, that she may be made efficient in all kinds of work. 
Patchwork should be discouraged after a scholar has learned it 
thoroughly. Every effort shall be made for promotion in work, 
from plain sewing, through the darning of stockings, to nice stitch- 
ing and button-holes, from the simpler to the more difficult, in 
order to give an interest and desire for perfection in such work. 
Pieces of cloth shall be kept for practice in making button-holes, 
stitching, or any other such special work, which can be given wher- 
ever there is want of work, or if other work has been completed in 
the course of the hour, or to carry out the idea of promotion. 

6. The sewing-teacher may find assistance from any charitable 
society with which she is connected, which would willingly furnish 
garments prepared and fitted, to be returned to the society when 

Or she can suggest to any scholar who has not provided material 
for her work, that she may show to her parent or guardian the gar- 
ment she has finished at school, and offer it to her for the price of 
the material. Many a mother would like to buy such a garment 
for its use, or for a specimen of work, if it is well done. 

7. The several teachers will abstain, as much as possible, from 
making any demands for material, excepting thimbles, thread, 
and needles, as it is the desire of the Committee on Sewing 
that the pupils, as far as possible, should supply themselves with 

8. The regular teacher of the class is expected to take entire 
charge of its discipline, as she is more thoroughly acquainted with 
her scholars ; also to see that the work is distributed promptly, at 
the beginning of the hour, either by herself or through monitors ; 
to assist in keeping each scholar diligently occupied through the 
sewing-hour, and to keep the daily record of finished articles. It 
is recommended that she should give credits, or marks, for effi- 
ciency or inefficiency in sewing, in the same manner, and according 
to the methods, pursued in other lessons in her class. 

In the mixed schools, when girls are taken from one or more 
classes to form one division, the boys of these classes can be put 



under one teacher, while the other takes charge of the class in 
sewing, and these teachers can alternate in their duties. 

The Committee on Sewing believe, that, if these regulations 
are closely adhered to, not only will the sewing become more 
efficient, and the teaching more practical, but each teacher will 
find an advantage from the regularity and the thoroughness of its 


The List of Patterns given below is especially adapted for the South Ken- 
sington Stitches, and by using 


any one may make their own transfers, and all 

Ust of New Designs with Tilton's Perforated Pattern for Crewel and 

Silk Embroidery. 

The prices given in this list are for a Hand-colored Design and a Perfo- 
rated Pattern of the same. The Hand-colored Design is to be used as a work- 
ing copy, showing the colors and shading ; and the Perforated Patterns are 
for transferring the design to the material to be embroidered. By their use 
any reasonable number of transfers can be made, and the method is so simple 
that a child can do it by following the directions which accompany each 

Designs intended to be worked in outline are not colored. 


No. 1. DWARF ARCTOTIS, . . . Mantel-piece Bobdeb . . 9 in. wide. $ 0.50 


FODIL, Chaib-Back 14 x 19 in. .50 

3. DAHLIA, Bannek-Sceeen 11 x 15 in. .50 

4. CLEMATIS Chaib 8 x 21 in. .50 

5. PEACH BLOSSOM Tea-Cloth 5 in. wide. .50 

6. CHERRY Tea-Cosey 9 x 16 in. .50 


PHYLLA, Blotting Book 8 x 10 in. .50 

8. CISTUS, Cabbiage-Blanket . . . 14 x 18 in. .50 

9. CORNFLOWER, Chaib-Back 13 x 19 in. .50 


M03A, Cushion 12 x 15 in. .50 

12! ROSES' ( Double Design, . . Cubtain 8 x 30 in. 1.00 

13. FLAX, • Lawn-Tennis Costume . . .50 

14. TOBACCO FLOWER, . . . Smoking Coat .50 

15. MYRTLE and MAIDENHAIR, Pabasol .50 

16. COWSLIP and PRIMROSE, Table-Cloth ...... 6 in. wide. .50 

17. POMEGRANATE, Bobdeb 7 in. wide. .50 

18. POPPIES and CORN, . . . Evening Dkbss .60 

19. HOPS and OX-EYED DAI- 

SIES Panbi 12x20 in. .60 


NK9100 .H32p stack 

Hale, Lucretia P ./Plain needlework, knit 

3 1962 00079 0299 




Illustrated with Twelve Plates, printed in the original colors, 
. Edited by "William R. Ware, 

^L Prof, of Architecture in Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 



This book contains the elements of Greek Art in the original 
colors, and will be found particularly useful to Art Teachers and 
".tudents, Designers and Engravers, Architects and Ornamental 
,'ainters, and in all trades where Art Decoration is desirable. 

Price, $1.00. 


Illustrating Grecian and Roman Mythology. 
Size of Plates, 3 to 4 and 5 to 7 inches. 

These subjects are extensively used in Decorative Art and as 
Studies in Figure Drawing. 

The First Series of Twenty Designs, including Achilles, An- 
dromache, Ajax, Apollo, Circe, Calypso, Diana, Hector, Hermes, 
Iris, Juno, Jupiter, Lampetia, Minerva, Mars, Mercury, Morning, 
Neptune, Nausicaa, Penelope, Paris, Scylla, Thetis, Ulysses, Venus, 
&c, &c, now ready. 

Price, in a Portfolio, $1.00. 

GREEK VASES — Their System of Form 
and Decoration. 

Illustrated with Twelve Plates. 

Printed in colors, selected from the forty-four illustrations 
taken from the originals in the Royal Collection of Vases at 
Munich. Edited by T. Lau, Custodian, with a translation of the 
accompanying text, by E. H. Greenleaf. 

Price, $3.50. 


By John C. L. Sparkes. 
Edited and Revised by an American Decorator. 

Illustrated with Forty of the principal Designs used by 
Wedge wood. 

Price, 50 Cents. 

Tilton's Needlework Series. 

No. I. 

DERY. A Guide to Embroidery in Crewels, Silks Applique, 
&c, and containing the instructions given at the Royal School 
for Art Needlework, at South Kensington, England. Edited 
by Lucretia P. Hale. Price 50 us. 

No. II. 

ART-NEEDLEWORK.— POINT LACE. With illustrations 
of Stitches and Valuable Patterns. By Lucretia P. Hale. 

No. III. . 


RATIVE EMBROIDERY. Containing Holbein, Pur , xiralo 
(drawn work), Vienna Cross Stitch, Double Piatt StiU'h, and 
Cordonnet, and eighty illustrations and patterns. By Lucretia 

P. Hale. Price- 50 ct! 


. No. IV. 


DARNING FOR ALL, at Home and in Schools; giving in- 
struction in Plain Sewing, &c, the Management of Classes, with 
twenty illustrations. Compiled from the best English works on 
these subjects, with some additional suggestions by the American 
editor. Edited by Lucretia P. Hale. Price 50 cts. 


Greek Ornament. Illustrated with twelve plates printed in 
the original colors, edited by Wm. R. Ware, Professor of Architecture 
in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology . Si. 00 

Chinese and Japanese Decorative Ornament. In prep- 

Flaxman's Outline Designs of the Human Figure; Illus- 
trating Grecian and Roman Mythology. 1st series, 20 Designs in a 
Portfolio, size 3 to 4 by 5 to 7 inches 1.00 

Greek Vases, their System of Form and Decoration, with twelve 
plates, printed in colors 2.50 

Hints to China and Tile Decorators. Illustrated with forty 
of the principal designs used by Wedgewood 50 

Designs and Instructions for Decorating Pottery .... 50 

The Art of Sketching from Nature, by Thomas Row- 
botham. With 27 Illustrations 50 

Art Recreations. A complete guide to Ornamental Work . . . 2.00 

Sent by mail, t > any address, on receipt of price. 

S. W. FILTON & CO., Boston, Publishfrs.